The Gardens of Chiconia 34: Lotus Eaters

Yesterday, the palm flower above Frogtopia opened.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.31.07 pmIt’s an Alexandra Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae), and the flower is spectacular, as you can see, a creamy, perfect waterfall of blossom. Within half an hour, a chattering, shrieking, joyous mob of multicoloured clowns descended on it and ripped it to shreds for the nectar in the flowers. It’s looking a bit tattered, brown round the edges and the worse for wear today, and there are no rainbow lorikeets partying up there. No, today, they’re much more interested in the seed bar on the bird table! It’s their nature, I know, but the destruction of the flower was a little sad – it was perfect for such a short time…

Those berries will turn a warm, rusty red as they ripen and soften. I think we can expect further visits when that happens….


15 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 34: Lotus Eaters

  1. EllaDee says:

    How interesting. We have similar palms at the house across the road at TA and I haven’t noticed the rainbow lorries paying it any attention. Can you do anything with the berries? I’m wondering as the TA palms have berries which appear only to make mowing the lawn hazardous when they drop.

  2. katechiconi says:

    To be honest, there haven’t been any ripe ones here since we moved in, so I can’t tell you if they’re palatable or not. Many species of palm have very nice, tasty fruit: beach palm, acai, jelly palms, etc. It may be that only the fruit bats will find these attractive. I’ll let you know! If the worst comes to the worst, you could always make a small business out of collecting and potting on the sprouting ones and selling them when they’re a bit larger!

  3. Jen Gardener says:

    Cheeky little guys!

  4. tialys says:

    Do you put food out for the birds all year round? I tend to stop around the end of April, beginning of May here. I did keep it up longer than that one year but they didn’t seem interested.

    • katechiconi says:

      We don’t really have winter here, so there’s no need to feed them then. We put out food for the entertainment value, and yes, we feed year round. I’ll always have stale nut mix, bread and meat scraps, vegetable and fruit peelings, so it’s no hardship, and I enjoy the view!

  5. I do envy you your colourful birds, though any birds at all are welcome here! When we moved in I wrote a poem “And no birds came “because it was an avian desert. Since planting stuff and feeding them, there are a few friendly beaks, but nothing on the scale and variety you have in Queensland.

    • katechiconi says:

      This country is famously well endowed with exotic creatures and the birds are no exception. We used to get lots of small and modestly pretty birds in our Berkshire garden when I was a child, and I’ve never lost my love of watching them – the colour and beautiful songs you get here are just a bonus!

  6. The Belmont Rooster says:

    Awesome! I enjoyed all the palms when I was in California. Great post!!!

  7. It’s a lovely picture ! on the other hand, if you want that fruit I think you’ll have to be “very creative”, birds are soooo clever when it comes to picking fruit !

  8. Grannymar says:

    Here the birds go for the soft fruits, the rain beats the blossom to the ground.

    • katechiconi says:

      Nature has arranged for the rain to arrive at a different time, so it’s on for one and all when the flowers open. I expect they’ll be back for the fruit too…

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